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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't have a floor jack - every one I've tried has dropped the car way too quickly when I tried to lower it, so I've returned them. Can I do this procedure one side at a time using the scissor jack that comes with the car?
 

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Just slowly open the valve too lower the floor jack. It will lower at any speed you want.
 

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Never had a problem with my 2 jacks.
Just do as Paul says!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I didn't end up tackling the end links the other day because I couldn't determine whether or not they were actually shot. My main symptom is a clunking noise when I go over bumps... the steering feels pretty tight for what it is (an '01 wagon), this is my first Taurus though and the only other person I know with a Taurus has a sedan, so I'm not sure how it's supposed to feel.

There is some body roll in turns, but I'm not sure if I can just attribute that to a) almost 130k shocks or b) slushy suspension compared to my '07 Camry SE (which is a bit stiffer than the mass-market LE).

What kind of process of elimination should I go through to figure out what parts need to be replaced? The end links LOOK fine, but I'm not sure what a bad end link should look like (they don't look cracked, but I can move them back and forth maybe 1/4" in either direction from where they naturally rest - this movement is equal on both sides so I thought it might be normal).

These may be dumb questions - I'm not a pro at this by any means, just a backyard hobbyist who's trying to learn more about not getting ripped off at shops.
 

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The front control arm bushing will clunk if the bolt is loose. It needs to be as tight as you can get it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The front control arm bushing will clunk if the bolt is loose. It needs to be as tight as you can get it.
Thanks for the tip, I assume I'll need a good torque wrench with a 1/2" driver to touch this? Harbor freight has a 20-200ft-lb 1/2" wrench on sale for 34.99 right now, but the 5-100ft-lb 3/8" is 21.99 :D
 

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Forget the torque wrench. Get a 1/2" breaker bar and 2' of 1" pipe for a cheater. Get it as tight as you can.

What happens is the steel bolt and steel liner for the bushings start to corrode and then there is play. If you break the bolt then you need new parts anyway. But I doubt you will break it.
 

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My main symptom is a clunking noise when I go over bumps...
That's a common problem. Open the hood, stand in front of the car and push it up and down - get a friend to help and watch the struts, if the noise is from the top of the strut, your strut bearing plates are shot. At 130K, the struts are probably shot and the springs should probably be replaced.
 

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This is what my car sounded like with failing endlinks:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Bull Geek - that's kind of what my wagon sounds like, but it's only when I hit bumps - in your video the noise was pretty constant, were you hitting bumps the whole time or was your endlink noise constant on all roads?

sfontain - the wagon is an '01, and I've checked the springs. They seem fine, but I'm not positive. The front end doesn't bounce more than I'd expect, and I've compared it to my friend's '03 sedan.

On that note, I'm pretty sure the wagon needs new rear struts - it's a little bouncier than I'd expect. The clunking isn't coming from the rear though, the struts aren't much worse than my friend's '03, but it's enough of a difference that I can't blame it solely on the 200lb weight difference in the rear. If I replace them I'll just go for quickstruts so I can do it myself and then go in for an alignment.
 

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The noise was pretty constant. Even on smooth new roads I still had the noise, so I guess even very minor imperfections in the road service caused the noise. You could push down on the corners of the car in park and hear nothing. TCCA member lightaddic08...on his car, you could push down on the corners and hear the same noise outside.

Your wagon's rear shocks could be due for replacement...have you ever replaced them? Sedans use struts all around, wagons use struts up front, and shocks in the rear.
 

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Your wagon's rear shocks could be due for replacement...have you ever replaced them? Sedans use struts all around, wagons use struts up front, and shocks in the rear.
Yep, I hate to say it but if you care about keeping this car, you should consider replacing all springs/struts/shocks, and swap the endlinks in the process. If you don't already have a broken spring problem, odds are good you will soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yep, I hate to say it but if you care about keeping this car, you should consider replacing all springs/struts/shocks, and swap the endlinks in the process. If you don't already have a broken spring problem, odds are good you will soon.
I didn't see any rear springs on my wagon - although I didn't get under it or take the wheels off. Does it even have coil springs in the rear?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
One more question... on another thread I saw a post from godspunk32 that said the following:

It's the same general process, but the bushing brackets for the Gen IV are welded on, as opposed to slip on. On the Gen III, the bushings fit around the bar, then the brackets slip over the bushings and bolt to the frame. The brackets for the Gen IV must be removed to replace the bushings, ie, a grinder must be used to cut them off. With that said, you then need to have both new bushings and new brackets to replace the old ones. The Gen I-III style brackets will bolt up to a Gen IV, you just need to obtain them.
I took my wheel off the other day and looked at the front bushing bracket - it looks like it's bolted on. I figure that either a) my bushings have been replaced before, b) godspunk32's post referred to the rears, not the fronts, or c) ......... I can't think of an option C.

Can anyone confirm the procedure for replacing the bushings in a gen 4, and would some kind soul who needs to take a front tire off in the next couple of days be willing to snap a few pictures of what their bushing brackets look like?
 

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Oh yea...you have springs. Just pop the wheel off...you'll see 'em. Coil springs w/shocks.

So on a 2000+ on the front and rear sway bars for a sedan, the brackets are integral to the sway bar with the rubber in between. You would almost be better off getting a junkyard swaybar from a Gen 3 w/the brackets and by some new bushings from your Auto Parts store. Same goes for the rear. I can't speak for the rear of a wagon, never looked under a Gen 4 wagon before to see how the bracket/swaybar setup is in the rear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Ok, finally finished replacing the links. A couple of points:

First, I wasn't as lucky as the person who wrote up the wiki article. BOTH studs spun on my endlinks. it took vise grips on the rubber boot to hold the stud in place, and an impact wrench to remove the top nut.

The bottoms were impossible - they had to be cut off because there wasn't enough clearance for the impact. Tried soaking on PB Blaster for a week - didn't budge. Had somebody cut off the ball joint in the endlink with a torch, and then was able to just pull the stud out. BTW, the plastic endlinks will catch fire before you get through the metal.

The torch burned the paint off the ends of my sway bar, so I let the bar sit overnight (so it wouldn't get tempered by sudden cooling), then painted the burned parts with black rustoleum.

The Duralast SL301 and SL302 links had the same style stud as the factory links. For the tops, since the bracket on the strut has the sides built up, you can't turn an open end wrench. I ended up putting an 18mm box wrench on the nut and turning the stud counter-clockwise with an 8mm socket until tight.

The rest was just as planned - jack up the control arm, 8mm box wrench on the stud, 18mm open end wrench for the bottom nut.

Took the car out for a test drive after - no more clunking. The body roll in turns seems to have also decreased SLIGHTLY. Now unfortunately I'm noticing other rattles that used to be drowned out by the clunking... it never ends does it...
 

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sway bar

Oh yea...you have springs. Just pop the wheel off...you'll see 'em. Coil springs w/shocks.

So on a 2000+ on the front and rear sway bars for a sedan, the brackets are integral to the sway bar with the rubber in between. You would almost be better off getting a junkyard sway bar link from a Gen 3 w/the brackets and by some new bushings from your Auto Parts store. Same goes for the rear. I can't speak for the rear of a wagon, never looked under a Gen 4 wagon before to see how the bracket/swaybar setup is in the rear.
Yep, I agree with Bull Geek. Sometimes it is much better to get it from a junk Gen 3 and just paint it of. It is much cheaper and you might even have a chance of getting a high-quality bars from Gen 3.
 
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